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So I have been listening to records for years on a old Panasonic record player that finally died. I recently “upgraded” to an Audio Technica LP120. With the new equipment I am trying to get my setup to sound as good as possible within a reasonable budget. 

With all of that being said I decided to try and align my stylus because I have been reading that it can make a difference with the sound quality. I downloaded a protractor from Vinyl Engine and aligned it using that and also double checked it with a protractor I ordered from Ortofon.  It sounds good at the beginning of the record but gets a little distorted in later tracks. The alignment looks good on the protractor, but now I am worried that I have messed up the overhang. I am not sure where to go from here and there are a lot of terrible videos on YouTube that don’t explain it very well. 

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated 

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If you're only getting distortion on the inner-tracks, then you've most likely got a bad alignment. Take care with the protractor (go by the glass Ortofon protractor, not the paper print-out) to see that the cartridge is equally aligned at both the outer and inner points. Also, the stylus (not the cartridge body) should meet the record in as perfectly vertical a manner as possible.


I always follow-up a cartridge alignment with a visual and auditory inspection. Take a flashlight and shine it directly at the point where the stylus meets the record - the needle should be receiving the groove as "straight" as possible at any given point. If you still hear distortion, stop and start again. Good luck!

Edited by bluethumb

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